We are often asked whether dentures are better than implants, or vice versa. This is a tricky question to answer without better understanding your particular needs, your dental records, and your lifestyle. The best answer is that dentures may be better than implants for some, but implants may be better than dentures for others.
So instead of trying to pick one over the other, let’s discuss the benefits of both dental implants and dentures, and give you the information you need to discuss this important question with your dentist.
Dentures are removable false teeth that are meant to replace your natural teeth. A denture apparatus can be created to replace a single tooth, several teeth, or an entire set of teeth.
Dentures are worn over your gums and are crafted to fit your mouth specifically. Sometimes they are held in place with a dental adhesive to try to prevent slipping or movement.
Dental implants are also replacement teeth and are generally a more permanent solution than dentures. Specifically, dental implants refer to artificial tooth roots that are surgically inserted into a patient’s jaw bone. These titanium or zircon roots become the foundation for false teeth.
There are a number of reasons that a patient may want dentures instead of dental implants. Here are a few.
Generally, the cost of dentures is less than that of implants. Since dentures don't require surgery, they are less expensive to fit and less expensive to make. According to Healthline, the price of dentures can range from $300 to $8000 or more, depending "on the materials used, the number of teeth, and whether you are getting a single plate or two (upper and lower)." It is also possible to get partial dentures to replace just a few teeth.
Dental implants require a surgical procedure and may require things like bone grafting to successfully implant the roots. In most cases, dentures are a less invasive procedure that doesn't require drilling, anesthesia, or surgery.
Dentures are removable. This feature has its pros and cons. You will remove your dentures regularly for oral hygiene and other reasons. As a result, some wearers report that dentures are uncomfortable and slip when eating and talking.
On the other hand, dentures can be a long-term solution or a temporary trial, allowing you to see if they are the solution for you. Implants are permanent.
For many patients, dental implants are the better tooth replacement option. Here are a few reasons:
Since dental implants replace the roots of your teeth, the false teeth that replace your natural teeth look and function like your originals. Healthline says, "Your new teeth will look and feel natural. They must be cared for with daily brushing and flossing." The chewing efficiency of the implanted tooth is about 100%.
Tooth loss can often cause the jawbone to deteriorate. Without tooth roots to stimulate the bone, the jawbone tends to lose structure. Dental implants can prevent this deterioration.
Overall jaw health is a key factor in whether a patient is a good candidate for dental implants. As we mention on our website, "For the surgery to be successful, patients must have sufficient supporting bone to hold the implant." That structure is assessed via x-ray in the patient’s initial visit. The dentist will also assess the patient’s soft tissue to ensure that there is no periodontal disease that may cause trouble in the healing process.
One major consideration that causes many to conclude that implants are better than dentures is that implants won’t slip. Once the work of the oral surgeon is healed and the implant is installed, they shouldn’t move at all. No adhesive is necessary.
With normal care, dental implants should last for 20 years or more. They should be no more difficult to care for than your natural teeth. They will require brushing and flossing, but you won’t need to take them out and soak them like dentures often require.
While dental implants cost more than dentures, they will last longer, look more natural, and function without slipping or moving. Dental implants require surgery to be put in place, and in some cases, a patient’s oral health may not allow the procedure.
To determine if dentures or dental implants are better for you, visit your dentist. If you are near Raleigh or Cary, NC, visit Smiles of Cary!